Gov. Snyder's Asia trip, financial problems for Michigan schools, and cheap land for sale in Detroit

Nov 22, 2014

A vacant lot in Detroit. Soon, homeowners in the city will be able to purchase lots like this one, for cheap.
Credit University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment / Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss Gov. Rick Snyder’s Asia trip, the financial status of Michigan’s schools, and a new plan to sell Detroit land.

Gov. Snyder in Asia

Gov. Snyder left for Asia this week, on a mission to persuade Chinese companies to expand to Michigan.

The trip, which includes stops in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, is the governor’s fourth visit to Asia.

Lessenberry said building relationships with countries like China takes time, but Gov. Snyder clearly thinks it’s worth the effort.

“His predecessor, Jennifer Granholm, probably for reasons of appeasing the unions, refused to go to China at all, so there’s some ground to be made up,” Lessenberry said.


Michigan’s Department of Treasury says some of the state’s most problematic schools are reducing their deficits.

Three of the five districts facing the most financial scrutiny reduced their general fund deficits last school year, while two are now worse off than before.

Lessenberry despite some small improvements, Michigan’s schools are still in a lot of trouble.

“Some people feel we need to do a whole system-wide examination,” he said.

Detroit land sales

Some Detroiters will soon have the opportunity to buy land for cheap.

Mayor Mike Duggan Wednesday announced plans which will allow city homeowners to purchase vacant lots adjacent to their property for $100.

Lessenberry said while it remains to be seen who’ll take advantage of the offer, it’s a good plan.

“These [lots] get strewn with trash, tires, and everything else, and bad kids like you and me play jacks in them,” he said. “The homeowner will buy [the lot] and have an incentive to keep it mowed, keep the trash out of it and keep an eye on it.” 

– Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom